The Free Universal Construction Kit: Liberating play, creativity and production through 3D-printing?

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Jan Løhmann Stephensen - Foredragsholder

With the growing number of 3D printers like MakerBot and their increasing economic accessibility, the lessons learned and the logics cultivated on digital Web 2.0 now seems applicable to the real world of material things. Released in early 2012 by the artist groups F.A.T. and Sy-lab, the Free Universal Construction Kit is a set of 3D drawings (digital files containing specific algorithms for the 3D printer). When printed, the drawings enable everyone with access to a 3D printer to make connectors, “the missing links”, between heavily trademarked and/or patented toy concepts like LEGO, Tinkertoys, ZoomTool, and Fischertechnik. However, describing this project as “reverse engineering as a civic activity”, it seems obvious that F.A.T.’s greater agenda is not just to enable cross-over playing, but rather to problematize, criticise and ultimately open up closed formats. But how does that, for instance, conform with the fact, that F.U.C.K. seems parasitically attached to these toys, whose logic it is simultaneously defying?

This presentation is a work-in-progress. Rather than presenting a fully developed paper, we will discuss how we might approach an object like the F.U.C.K. – perceived both as a manifest-like statement and a fully functional object, that is: a toy. There will, in other words, both be a little something for those with theoretical inclinations, and for those who (just) like to play.

In this paper we will discuss, what this contemporary new media remaking of Man With a Movie Camera means in a more detailed perspective, and which aspects are left out. What, for instance, happens to the aesthetic dimensions of the original, which inevitably becomes part of the movie’s formalistic/communicative experiments, when the aim of the art project now seems less an attempt to forge a new visual language, than an attempt to orchestrate – or perhaps merely demonstrate — a new social organization of the very production of art under the banners of remixing, participation, global-networking (cf. Manovich, Deuze, Jenkins, etc.).

To conclude the paper, we will briefly contrast Bard’s remaking of Vertov’s film with Lech Kowalski’s 2008 online video archive CAMERAWAR.TV, to illustrate another current take on so-called “database cinema” – that is, a different echo of Vertov’s pioneering work.
13 dec. 2012

Begivenhed (Konference)

TitelAesthetics Reloaded
AfholdelsesstedAarhus University


  • 3d print, kreativitet, politisk økonomi, leg, intellektuelle rettigheder

ID: 51442163